by Jackie Nunnery
HEATHSVILLE—Sharper pencils prevailed as Northumberland supervisors on Thursday, June 22, unanimously approved a $21.6 million school budget along with the $48.6 million county budget with a week to spare before the 2023-24 fiscal year begins July 1.
The board also unanimously voted to hold tax rates where they are.
Earlier this month, supervisors held a public hearing on a proposed $53.4 million budget that included a $0.14 real estate tax hike, a plan that brought out a frustrated crowd of residents.
A motion by Richard Haynie to approve a level funded 2023-24 school budget of $20,988,729 to be appropriated quarterly by category failed, 3-2, with Haynie and James Brann voting in favor. Thomas Tomlin, James Long and Ronald Jett voted against.
“You’re assuming that there’s sufficient funds already in their budget for the 5% salary increase,” Tomlin said. “We’re giving county staff 5%, if we level fund then…”
Haynie replied there was $1.8 million “somewhere in (the budget) that we’re trying to find.”
Long also disagreed with the level….
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